Amir Khan has accused Kell Brook of being “bitter” and having “hate” for his career success.
Longstanding rivals Khan and Brook will finally settle their animosity on February 19 in Manchester, live on Sky Sports Box Office, in the biggest all-British fight outside of the heavyweight division.
They butted heads, were dragged apart by security and argued furiously at a press conference on Monday.
Khan insists their rivalry is due to: “What I’ve done in the sport. The name I’ve got. You can see how bitter he is.
“My celebrity status? That comes because of what I’ve achieved in the sport of boxing. It’s not because of other things.
“I have put on great performances, won world titles, made a name for myself in America. It all comes from boxing.
“How can you hate on that?
“I have capitalised on what I’ve done in boxing.
“He hates that.
“He can hate me as much as he wants. Once I beat him, he will hate me even more!
“Now I know that he hates me, it will only make me train harder.”
Brook and Khan are both former world champions and remain Britain’s top two welterweights.
Khan insists he has always operated at a higher standard than Brook: “This is a step down for me. Me going into this fight is going down a couple of levels.
“There are bigger names, tougher fights.
“But I had to give this to the British fans.
“So I’ve had to step down to give him a beating and show the British public who the best is.”
Brook said: “It’s personal. It’s not made up. We dislike each other.
“I’ve got the grudge match of my career.
“I haven’t lost anything. I might be 35. But Terence Crawford is 34, so is Shawn Porter, and they just had an epic fight. Crawford is one of the best pound-for-pound.
“I’ve still got the power, still got the timing, the experience.
“It will be one of my best performances.
“It’s about bragging rights. Imagine – whoever loses has to live with it for the rest of their lives.
“I will put myself through hell in training.
“I looked into his eyes – he knows that I’m coming.
“He never wanted this fight but he’s been backed into a corner. I’ve wanted it for years.”